Shaheed Diwas or Martyrs' Day is observed on March 23 every year throughout the country. It marks the death anniversary of young freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru.
On March 23 in 1931, the three were hanged to death by Britishers. The sons of India were sentenced to death in the Lahore conspiracy case and ordered to be hanged on March 24, 1931. However, the schedule was moved forward by 11 hours and they were hanged on March 23, 1931 at 7:30 pm.
After Lala Lajpat Rai's death in November 1928, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev and others vowed to take revenge. Rai was a prominent leader of India's freedom movement who had inspired many young Indians to join the quest for freedom.
In order to teach the ruthless Britishers a lesson, the three planned to execute James A Scott. Scott was the Superintendent of Police during the British rule and was infamous for his cruelty.
It was Scott who had ordered the police to lathi charge the protesters and personally assaulted Rai, causing life threatening injuries. The plan was to send a message to the British forces that we will not bow down anymore and are capable of taking action.
However, it was John P Saunders, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, who was killed by mistake. The three freedom fighters were charged for murder of Saunders.
Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were only 23 years old when they were hanged for executing Saunders. Their contribution in the freedom struggle is immense and will continue to inspire generations to fight for their rights.